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WHEREAS, good attendance matters for school success and developing the habit of attendance prepares students for success in college and career and in life; and

WHEREAS, chronic absence, defined as missing 10 percent or more of school for any reason, is a proven predictor of lower reading proficiency and course failure and is also a leading indicator of students dropping out of school; and

WHEREAS, students who face systemic barriers in getting to school such as unreliable transportation, chronic health issues, poor nutrition, mental health and social emotional problems, and other health issues negatively impacting school attendance are more likely to be chronically absent; and

WHEREAS, effective strategies for improving attendance include monitoring attendance data, providing positive messaging, and conducting outreach with students, parents, grandparents, guardians, and other family members, and deploying resources that address health and nutrition, safety, transportation, and other issues that may cause a student to repeatedly miss school; and

WHEREAS, good attendance is essential to student achievement and graduation, and greater attention to mentoring is needed to improve student attendance and reduce chronic absenteeism in Alabama schools; and

WHEREAS, support for coordinated community action will affect thousands of children in Alabama’s public schools each year by addressing the underlying causes of local chronic absenteeism:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education encourages school districts and communities to join together in reducing chronic absenteeism and ensuring an equitable opportunity for children to learn, grow, and thrive, and by doing such does hereby proclaim that September 2016 is “Attendance Awareness Month.”

Done this 11th day of August 2016.